Cultural Competence in Healthcare – Overview
Cultural competence in healthcare is a standard form of providing healthcare services to society. Cultural competence aims to provide the same healthcare services to each patient irrespective of their background, culture, language, and community. Let’s talk more about Cultural Competence in Healthcare.
Why is Cultural Competence in Healthcare So Much Important?
Cultural competence starts with optimizing the healthcare services for patients that come from different cultures. If we talk about the U.S., many communities come from ethnic groups and are required special services to balance the healthcare services of the U.S.
The need for cultural competence in this particular industry is to balance the nature of healthcare services across the U.S.
What is Cultural Competence in Healthcare?
Healthcare providers provide different types of services to patients who come from different backgrounds and communities. The disparities in the healthcare system are growing as healthcare providers do not follow standard systems.
Patients face many difficulties while accessing healthcare services as there are special services for special communities. Those who come from ethnic groups need to face many challenges. They do not get quality services and easy access to healthcare services.
If we dive deeper, we can see many disparities in the U.S. Healthcare system based on social, ethnic, cultural, racial, and language. The data published by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention says literacy in healthcare also requires to get quality services.
The population of the U.S. is growing diverse, which means the number of people from different ethnic groups is increasing rapidly. In this situation, the need for cultural competence in healthcare becomes crucial.
As per the research data, over 40 million of the U.S. population are from different countries. Unlike the citizens of the country, these people face many challenges while accessing healthcare services.
How Cultural Competence Balances the Healthcare System?
Healthcare systems that follow cultural competence have many things in common. They follow a special set of principles that make them different from others. It shows the importance of cultural competence in the healthcare system in the U.S. After decoding these systems’ principles. Here we have compiled a list for those who are yet to follow them.
Principles of Cultural Competence in the Healthcare System
- Need for language interpretation
- Understands community needs for diverse communities and ethics
- A clear definition of culture
- Continued learning and growth by meeting regularly with other organizations
- Cultural competency training for healthcare providers and other healthcare staff
- Following policies set by the core team of the healthcare system
- Spreading literacy about cultural competency among the teams
- Collaborating with other agencies to share knowledge with each other
- Professionalizing services by providing training to staff
What Are the Objectives of Cultural Competence in Healthcare?
It starts by providing training to improve the skills and knowledge about what types of services a culturally competent healthcare system requires. Here’s the list of objectives that each healthcare system should follow!
1. Increase Awareness
Healthcare providers should learn to develop cultural awareness by not assuming the patients’ culture while providing healthcare services. Healthcare providers must be aware of not assuming the cultural diversities of the patients. It starts with this only.
2. Improve Knowledge and Skills
Patients who come from different countries face many challenges while accessing healthcare services. By communicating them in their regional language help them understand what type of treatment they need. Cultural competency provides access to various resources for better communication.
When the staff is educated and literate enough, they can easily improve their services. In return, the patients will also get satisfied with the services and help they get while visiting the healthcare premises.
3. Improve Provider Outcomes
Healthcare providers work with their colleagues, and they share their experiences and knowledge with each other to grow together. Cultural competence helps providers understand surgical and pharmacological procedures in a better way.
Professional interpreters are there to help patients and healthcare providers understand what they need. A culturally competent healthcare system eases the services and the actual time taken for the visits.
How Do You Put Cultural Competence Into Action?
The healthcare organization must create an institutional framework to put cultural competency into action. It helps employees and other teams of the organization follow a proper path to make the organization culturally competent. Let’s see how it works!
- Maintains a workforce that is diverse and has staff from all communities
- Works on a model that helps staff and employees of different communities communicate easily
- Demonstrate how culturally competent agencies work
Every healthcare organization should build an infrastructure where all the employees follow cultural competence practices. It starts with an environment where everyone learns new things by themselves, and that’s how it works!
Healthcare organizations must promote cultural competence by adopting a new framework and building an infrastructure for everyone working on their premises. Healthcare administrators can lead the organization to set goals and make organizations culturally competent. They should learn from other culturally competent organizations to understand more about the system and its workflow.
I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.